For the last two years, my daughter and I have gone through the entire ten seasons of Friends. It was something we really looked forward to: hanging out a couple nights a week in our jammies long after the other kids had gone to bed. And now that we’re done we don’t know what to do. We’ve tried a few other shows, but none of them have done it for us. Which led me to an idea for this blog: For the next six weeks we’re going to watch the pilot episodes of various comedies we haven’t seen before—that shouldn’t be hard, we really don’t watch much TV—then I’ll post a review each Friday. I'm calling it The Pilot Project.
But first, I’ll review Friends; the standard that these poor other shows will have to stand up to.
I’m sure you’ve seen it before: the one where Monica gets a roommate and the stage is set for something no one expected: a cast and story line that’s somewhat like our everyday life, but enough above us that we’re enthralled. I mean really, who has the likes of Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry living next door? Cute and funny…really? And who else lives in a huge apartment in Manhattan in their twenties when they’re just starting out in their careers? No one I know, but I don’t care. It works. I love each and every one of these characters, love them like they’re my own friends, which I guess was the point, and why it became so hugely popular. But I’m not reviewing the show here, I’m reviewing the pilot. Rachel shows up in a wedding dress—something we can all relate to. Not that we’ve all run out on our weddings, but I think each of us has felt that relief moment when we’ve just escaped something we knew wasn’t the best choice for us. And hopefully we’ve stumbled into the same thing Rachel did: her ex-fat old high school best friend who happens to have a room available and a group of friends she’s willing to share. And there began the saga that has drawn in millions, my daughter and myself included. My only question—why were the best seats in the place always open and waiting for their arrival? When I go to my local coffee house I’m usually stuck in the wooden folding chair by the door. But then again, I don’t live by Matt Leblanc and Matthew Perry, either.